‘Stop the bleeding’: Duterte seeks help of partners to fix PH basic education

At a glance

  • DepEd, led by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, conducted the Partners Convergence to “realign and redirect” both existing and future programs of its partners in line with the “MATATAG” Agenda.

  • While there had been “revolutionary reforms” to address the systemic problems in basic education, Duterte said: "We continue to be shadowed by issues left unsuccessfully fixed despite earnest efforts by previous administrations to fix them."

  • Through the "MATATAG” Agenda and the help of DepEd's partners, Duterte hoped to “stop the bleeding” of the basic education system.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Thursday, May 25, sought the support of the partners of the Department of Education (DepEd) to “stop the bleeding” of the country’s basic education system.

(Photo courtesy of DepEd)

Duterte, in her speech during DepEd’s Partners Convergence, held at the National Museum of Natural History in Manila, said that there had been “revolutionary reforms” to address these systemic problems in the past.

“But we continue to be shadowed by issues left unsuccessfully fixed despite earnest efforts by previous administrations to fix them,” she added.

DepEd gathered its partners from various sectors to address the challenges faced by the country’s basic education system.



The Partners Convergence aimed to “realign and redirect” both existing and future programs of DepEd's partners in line with the “MATATAG” Agenda.

Launched in January, the “MATATAG Agenda: Bansang Makabata, Batang Makabansa” detailed the DepEd’s solutions to the problems that had become “inherent” in the basic education system.

Duterte noted that many of the perennial problems are “deeply ingrained” in the basic education system — and “some are deeply rooted in the reprehensible culture of corruption searing through the future of our learners.”

She noted that DepEd’s battle cry, the “MATATAG” Agenda, hopes to “stop the bleeding.”

‘MATATAG’ partners

During the convergence, Duterte expressed her appreciation for the support DepEd has been receiving from its partners and stakeholders.

While she recognized the challenges DepEd faces in achieving its goals, Duterte said that it was encouraging to see the “passion to work together” towards a common objective.

Duterte also commend the participants from different organizations with a “shared goal” of improving the lives of learners and people in developing communities.

She noted that to be a “matatag” partner means to be “strong and unwavering in the face of challenges and adversity” and to be “steadfast in our dedication to the learning and growth of our Filipino learners and acknowledging the essential role that teamwork and solidarity play in achieving these goals.”

Those who expressed their support as “Matatag” partners, Duterte said, also proclaim their “unwavering dedication” to the values of education, collaboration, and unity.

(Photo courtesy of DepEd)

“As Matatag Partners, we recognize that education is not just about academic achievement, but it is also about personal growth, building character, and developing life skills,” Duterte said. “And, ultimately, to be a ‘Matatag Partner’ means to be part of something greater than ourselves,” she added.

Being a part of the “Matatag” movement, Duterte said, has the power to transform lives and communities. “It means collaborating, learning, and growing together toward our shared goal of creating a better world through education,” she added.

Given this, she urged the education stakeholders to be a “Matatag Partner” by extending their assistance and sharing their knowledge and expertise to transform Filipino learners to become better citizens.

Duterte also expressed gratitude to DepEd’s partners for their participation in the discussion of the progress and challenges the agency has encountered in the implementation of the “MATATAG” Agenda.

“Your presence and participation today are a confirmation of your undying commitment to the reforms we have envisioned together for our country’s basic education,” Duterte said. “And most importantly, your presence and participation today is a declaration of your concern for the future of Filipino children,” she added.

As the country’s future is latched onto education, Duterte urged leaders and stakeholders to be “constantly reminded” of their task to ensure the future of Filipino children.

“That is formidable, yes. But that is the reason why we are all here today. To make the formidable unformidable,” Duterte added.

The “MATATAG” agenda has four critical components which include MAking the curriculum relevant to produce competent and job-ready, active, and responsible citizens; TAking the steps to accelerate delivery of basic education facilities and services; TAking good care of learners by promoting learner well-being, inclusive education, and a positive learning environment; and Giving support to teachers to teach better.